Red Dirt (Tony) vs. Green Country (Chelsea) is TLO’s newest segment, in which contributors argue about whether 405 or the 918 has the better of different cultural institutions. For instance, if the topic was “convenience stores,” Tulsa’s QuikTrip would be the obvious winner. If it was “Professional Basketball Teams,” OKC would win. And if it was “Politicians,” we would all lose! Pretty simple, right? This will settle once and for all which is the better city. Today is the first installment.
By now everyone has heard about the statue the Satanic Temple in New York wants to install at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Among normal people, reactions have ranged from bemusement to complete enthusiasm. Among people who someday want to get elected to political office, the most common reaction is to pretend to be offended.
If the Satanic statue were to ever be installed, it would immediately be the weirdest, most awkward statue in the state of Oklahoma, and by a pretty wide margin. But it’s not there yet, so today Chelsea and Tony are here to debate who has the current Most Awkward Statue in the state: the Tulsa area, or the Oklahoma City area?
The arguments are after the fold.
Green Country: Praying Hands at Oral Roberts University
Between the dozens of gigantic penguins dressed up as various professions, the Golden Driller who sometimes wears a kilt, and the guy with a large curvy penis at Swan Lake, it was quite a doozy settling on just one strange statue in Tulsa. Ultimately though, I went with one of Tulsa’s most popular (and cringeworthy) “tourist attraction,” the praying hands at Oral Roberts University.
Growing up my parents told me that every Sunday morning, those hands reach down and beg for money. While that’s still a major part of the job description, we all now know that their main function is to bitch-slap the Christ back into whichever ORU students have strayed from the righteous path. ORU’s definition of a “righteous path” might include abiding by a 10:00 curfew into your 20s, banishing gay people, and being terrified of normal sex, but, I digress.
For me, the main hate/love relationship I have with those gigantic praying hands has little to do with the artistry of its construction, or its bold statement of faith. It’s Tulsa’s most awkward statue because well, it’s a giant pair of hands, commissioned by a guy named Oral, who by the way seems to have some sort of fixation on golden phallic-shaped structures. Plus, if the statue’s thumbs were lowered just a little bit, the hands would form the internationally recognized hand gesture for vagina. You know you’ve pondered this before too. – Chelsea
Red Dirt: The Statue of Some Random Guy That Everyone Pretends Is A Statue Of Sam Bradford
I had considered that creepy-ass horse statue at OU on Boyd Street whose beady red eyes stare you down in the middle of the night and was designed by a Texas graduate, but in the end I had to go with the “Sam Bradford” statue at OU’s Heisman Park.
When it was unveiled, Sam Bradford said “I never thought in a million years I’d be seeing a statute of myself.” Then he continued… “And I guess I won’t because that is clearly not me. Seriously, guys? You couldn’t find a decent sculptor anywhere in Norman? I look like a 60-year-old man trying to heave a football.”
And like all great art, the statue has the Nike swoosh on it. Who has to worry about the struggle between art and commerce when you can just make sure to include all your corporate sponsors in your pieces of art? It brings a tear to my eye. Could be really awkward if OU ever becomes an Adidas school, though. – Tony
What’s more awkward, the praying hands or the “Sam Bradford” statue? Or speak up for that statue of Conan O’Brien in Okarche. And join us next time when Red Dirt vs. Green Country debates whether the Oklahoman or the Tulsa World had more derpy comments on it’s Facebook page in response to the gay marriage ruling.
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